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Border Lakes Subsection Forest Resource Management Plan SFRMP Training Session October 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Border Lakes Subsection Forest Resource Management Plan SFRMP Training Session October 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Border Lakes Subsection Forest Resource Management Plan SFRMP Training Session October 2006

2 Purpose of Session Provide a brief overview/context of SFRMP. Expose staff to considerations in developing the plan and the resulting goals and strategies. Walk through some case examples for discussion. Provide an opportunity to ask questions about the Border Lakes plan.

3 What is an SFRMP? DNR plan for vegetation management on forest lands administered by DNR Forestry and Wildlife. Using ECS subsections as the planning unit. Focus on forest composition goals, vegetation management, creating multi-year stand examination lists, and identifying new access needs.

4 Scope of SFRMP Focus is on future forest composition goals and vegetation management strategies. Appropriate SFRMP issues are directly affected by, or directly affect, management of vegetation on DNR lands. Issues are generally defined by Forest vegetation conditions and trends Threats to forest vegetation Vegetation management opportunities.


6 SFRMP Schedule Completed Late-2006 Completion Mid-2007 Completion Late-2007 Completion 2008 Completion

7 Why SFRMP? Need for new management plans in many Forestry Areas. Need to improve public awareness/ involvement in DNR forest management planning (i.e., opening the "black box"). Need for interdisciplinary approach to address complex forest management issues.

8 Why by subsections? Plan on natural or ecological boundaries rather than administrative boundaries. Subsection level has been used for other landscape planning/assessment efforts. Old Growth Forest designations Basis for DNR ERF guideline White pine initiative Tomorrow’s Habitat for the Wild and Rare. Fewer plans (30 Areas vs. 17 subsections) GIS capabilities now make it easier to do plans on ecological landscape basis.

9 SFRMP Process Objectives Effectively informs and involves the public and stakeholders. A process that is credible to most. A clear process that is well communicated to the public (i.e., transparent). Reasonable and feasible within current staffing levels and workloads. Results in improved forest management.

10 Key Aspects of SFRMP A Department plan (i.e., interdisciplinary, consent-based process) Department involvement and support A defined and documented process Public review/input opportunities Aggressive time schedules Adaptive

11 SFRMP Components Assessment & Preliminary Issues (2000) Strategic Direction (2002) Desired future forest conditions (DFFCs) Goals and strategies Responding to final issues 10-Year Stand Selection Results and New Access Needs (2005) Final Plan (2006)

12 Border Lakes SFRMP Team Current Maya Hamady, Walt Gessler, Bill Schnell, John Stegmeir Past members Mike Albers, Tom Engel, Dana Frame, Joe Geis, Bob Heisel, Dave Ingebrigtsen, Bob Maki, Laurie Martinson, Tom Rusch, Ray Tarchinski, Jim Weseloh, Steve Wilson


14 Land Ownership 2.8 million acres (all ownerships) USFS lands 56% Wilderness & national park 44% State lands in SFRMP 13% (298,000 acres) 98% Forestry admin. Timberlands 265,000

15 Forest Composition


17 NE Regional Landscape DFFCs A forest that: approximates/moves toward the range of variability for natural plant communities has spatial patterns (size and location of openings) that are consistent with the ecology of northeastern Minnesota provides diverse habitat to maintain natural communities and viable populations The desired future forest condition is a long-term condition and can only be achieved by moving in incremental steps

18 NE Landscape Goals and Strategies Mesic White-Red Pine (12% of landscape) Goals Increase white and red pine component Increase 101+ growth stage of w/r pine Strategies Harvest aspen & birch out of mature birch- conifer growth stage (51-100 years). Implement conifer retention where present.

19 NE Landscape Goals and Strategies Mesic Aspen-Birch (20% of landscape) Goals Increase the 81+ year multi-aged conifer growth stage Increase the white pine, white spruce, and tamarack component. Strategies Reserve white pine seed trees Encourage spruce/fir regeneration to protect pine. Underplant white pine & white spruce Mimic natural patterns of disturbance in harvest via variable retention of residuals.

20 NE Landscape Goals and Strategies Dry Mesic White-Red Pine (11% of landscape) Goals Increase red/white pine & white spruce components Increase the old growth stages (121+ years) Strategies Restore pine on sites currently dominated by hardwoods, aspen in particular Underplant red/white pine & white spruce Maintain current stands dominated by pine Manage to enhance mature white pine & multi-aged pine-spruce-fir.

21 NE Landscape Goals and Strategies Jack-pine – Black spruce (21% of landscape) Goals Increase jack pine component Strategies Maintain jack pine composition where it currently exists Harvest mature jack pine and restore via variety of methods as sites dictate

22 NE Landscape Goals and Strategies Northern Hardwoods (10% of landscape) Goals Increase white pine, yellow birch, white spruce and white cedar components Increase multi-aged growth stage (>150 years) Strategies Apply uneven-aged management in 51-100 year stands to increase multi-aged characteristics

23 Final Issues Timber harvest levels Timber productivity Timber sale access Forest cover type composition Within stand composition Forest age composition Forest spatial patterns Riparian and ecological processes Rare & sensitive plant communities, species, biodiversity

24 Issue: Timber Harvest Levels DFFC: Provide a sustainable timber harvest level, considering current & future ecological, economic, & social needs. Strategies: Integration of strategies for all the issues.



27 Issue: Timber Productivity DFFC: TP is increased on state forestlands through more intensive management on some lands. Strategies Harvest stands at a younger age Evaluate HRLV stands Increase intermediate stand treatments Convert stands of low quality birch & aspen to conifers Manage some ERF for large sawtimber.



30 High Risk-Low Volume (HRLV) Stands that are “high risk” or decadent due to old age, low volume, or I&D problems. Primarily aspen, birch, j. pine, balsam fir, lowland black spruce forest types All HRLV stands assigned a “field visit” preliminary prescription. All HRLV will be field visited during the 10- year planning period. HRLV decision tree developed to guide management decision.

31 HRLV (cont.) 15,000 acres or about 27% of all stands selected. Anticipated to be the primary opportunity for cover type conversion goals Estimated that 50% of HRLV stands will result in a timber sale.

32 Issue: Timber Sale Access DFFC: Access provided for state forest management while protecting or minimizing negative effects on other forest resources. Strategies Continue maintenance of “system” roads. Follow policies and guidelines for NR management access routes and temporary access. Cooperate in access planning across ownerships.

33 Issue: Forest Cover Type Composition DFFC: Increase acres of upland conifers Strategies Allow natural succession of some aspen, birch and BG to conifers. Convert some aspen, birch and BG to conifers. Manage for w. pine/w. cedar understory. Selective & uneven-age harvest to favor conifer regeneration. Reserve conifer seed trees. Protect advanced conifer regeneration. Use prescribed fire.

34 Issue: Within Stand Composition DFFC: Species and structural diversity within stands will be increased. Strategies Uneven-aged management in w.pine, lowland/northern hardwoods, cedar, and a portion of spruce-balsam cover types. Follow MFRC site-level guidelines to retain diversity. Retain diversity when thinning. Reserve seed trees in harvest/regeneration sites. Protect advanced regeneration.

35 Issue: Within Stand Composition (cont.) Strategies (cont.) Regenerate via natural succession in some stands. Protect regeneration from browsing. Use Rx fire for fire dependent habitats. Increase w.pine in other cover types. Increase upland cedar, oak, yellow birch and tamarack in other cover types. Manage plantations to resemble natural stands. Maintain some black spruce, j.pine, and r.pine as pure stands.

36 Issue: Forest Age Composition DFFC 1: Balanced age structure for even-age types. Strategies Treat selected stands. ERF in a variety of age classes. DFFC 2: More old pine and conifers. Strategies Multi-aged/layered stands Some lowland mixed conifers as all-aged.

37 Issue: Forest Age Composition (cont.) DFFC 3: Retain old forest component. Strategies Maintain adequate ERF. Manage riparian areas primarily as old forest. Allow some stands to succeed without harvest. Use prescribed fire.

38 Extended Rotation Forest (ERF)

39 Issue: Forest Spatial Patterns DFFC 1: Average patch size is larger Strategies: Use riparian corridors & existing old forest to enlarge large old patches. Restore or maintain original stand size. Harvest adjacent to recently harvested sites. Use selective harvest to retain old patches. Coordinate patch management with others. Reserve areas from harvest.

40 Forest Spatial Patterns (cont.) DFFC 2: Connectivity between patches. Strategy: Use riparian corridors & existing old forest to connect large old patches. DFFC 3: Maintain some old large patches. Strategy: Manage some large patches as ERF.

41 Forest Spatial Patterns (cont.) DFFC 4: Patches are distributed in a range of sizes and ages. Strategies: Establish definitions and goals for patches. Plan harvest across a range of timber sale sizes. Utilize prescribed fire.

42 Patch sizes Size ClassAcre Range Class 1 - LargeGreater than 640 acres Class 2 – Medium Large 251 - 640 Class 3101 - 150 Class 4 -41 - 100 Class 5 - SmallLess than 40 acres


44 Example patches

45 Patch codes (e.g., PO2UC) P=patch FP=future patch O=old I=intermediate Y=young 1=large 2=medium large 3=medium U=upland L=lowland D=deciduous C=conifer M=mixed

46 Forest Spatial Patterns (cont.) DFFC 5: Patches represent the cover types in the subsection. Strategy: Increase upland conifer medium and large patches.

47 Issue: Riparian & Ecological Processes DFFC: Water quality is protected and natural processes are allowed to occur. Strategies: Manage for ERF in most riparian areas. Favor b.fir, w.pine, w.spruce & cedar in upland, low fire frequency areas. Favor j.pine, r.pine & aspen in upland, high fire frequency areas. Apply SNN act restrictions where applicable. Apply MFRC site-level guidelines.

48 Issue: Rare & sensitive plant communities, species, ecological processes & biodiversity DFFC 1: R&S species and plant communities are protected. Strategies: Protect old growth. Protect identified Ecologically Important Lowland Conifers (EILC). Refer to NH database in stand selection. Use NPC field guide. Protect sensitive & high quality NPCs and species.

49 EILC DNR OG Guideline did not address old growth lowland conifers Department direction to identify EILC as a pool for potential old growth stands Team identified approximately 3,600 acres of EILC Stands are reserved from harvest during this 10-year plan, but don’t affect harvest levels Team selected based on criteria such as: old age (e.g., >100 years) or all-aged limited human-caused disturbance ecologically significant or representative of a range of NPCs part of an identified corridor

50 Issue: Rare & sensitive plant communities, species, ecological processes & biodiversity (cont.) DFFC 2: Genetic variability of tree species is retained. Strategy: Use appropriate seed sources. DFFC 3: Ecological processes and biodiversity are protected. Strategies: Use identified strategies to managed towards DFFCs. Use NPC field guides in managing NPCs.

51 Stand Selection Criteria to identify “pool” of stands consistent with strategic direction. Select stands to be field visited and “treated” over the next 10 years. Review results for consistency with strategic direction and spatial concerns. Estimate new access needs for the proposed 10-year list of stands.

52 Stand Selection Results

53 SFRMP “Treatments” SFRMP treatment levels reflect the number of acres that will be field visited over the 10- year period. Treatments may include: Appraising a stand for timber sale Inventory alteration without appraisal forest development without harvest Deferring treatment until a later planning period Usually a combination of the above treatments

54 Estimating Timber Harvests

55 New Access Needs - Purpose Provide a rough estimate of the amount and type of new access needs based on the 10- year stand list. Identify post-use management of identified new access to address concerns such as: Future access needs Fragmentation/interior forest conditions Road density. Determine needs for permits to cross federal lands.

56 Clarifications Not a transportation plan New access needs are not mapped Stands requiring new access are tagged for import into SRM Advisory to OHV trail designation process.

57 Types of New Access Forest roads System roads – remain open Minimum maintenance roads – remain open Access Routes Resource management access routes – close after use Temporary access – abandon & reclaim. Objective to minimize the miles of new roads. Use existing access routes or previously used corridors of disturbance whenever feasible.

58 Cover Type Recommendations

59 Aspen/BG Rotation ages Normal rotation age: 45/50 (91,800 acres) Average extended rotation age: 80 (23,814 acres) Maximum rotation age: 100 All stands over age 80 or that meet HRLV criteria will be field visited Conversion goal to conifers: 7,000 acres (proportionally between NRA/ERF)

60 Aspen/BG (continued) Summary of proposed stand treatment Normal rotation forest: 1,744 acres per year ERF: 354 acres/year (est. 50% harvested) HRLV: 732 acres/year (est. 50% harvested) Thinning: 116 acres/year (est. <50% harvested)

61 Birch Rotation ages Normal rotation age: 60 (8,639 acres) Average extended rotation age: 80 (1,642 acres) Maximum rotation age: 120 All stands over age 80 or that meet HRLV criteria will be field visited Conversion goal to conifers: 3,000 acres (proportionally between NRA/ERF)

62 Birch (continued) Summary of proposed stand treatment Normal rotation forest: 99 acres per year ERF: 8 acres/year HRLV: 262 acres/year

63 Birch (continued) DFFC: reduction in birch cover type Natural succession in non-merchantable stands with adequate desired regeneration Harvest prescriptions designed to take advantage of conifer conversion opportunities Increase in selective harvesting & reduction in clear-cutting Regeneration back to birch on better sites (SI >55)

64 Jack Pine Rotation ages Normal rotation age: 60 (13,758 acres) Average extended rotation age: 90 (3,098 acres) Maximum rotation age: 120 All HRLV stands will be field visited All NRA stands over age 80 will be harvested Some NRA stands 50-80 years harvested, but rest retained to help smooth age classes Most ERF stands >90 years will be harvested Retain some vigorous stands >90 years

65 Jack Pine (continued) Summary of proposed stand treatment Normal rotation forest: 127 acres per year ERF: 1 acres/year Thinning: 200 acres/year (est. 50% thinned)

66 Jack Pine (continued) Conversion goal: increase cover type by 2,300 acres this planning period Long-term goal is to double the cover type acres Conversion primarily from aspen/birch

67 Balsam Fir Rotation ages Normal rotation age: 50 (4,828 acres) Average extended rotation age: 65 (1,014 acres) Maximum rotation age: 75 All stands >40 years will be field visited (assume ½ will be salvage harvested) Healthy stands age 40-65 will be retained. Consider for uneven-aged management favoring non-host species Stands age 30-40 are candidates for thinning

68 Balsam Fir (continued) Summary of proposed stand treatment Field visit: 224 acres per year Normal rotation: 11 acres per year ERF: 3 acres/year of partial harvest BF advanced regen in other types should be retained at harvest (except when in or adjacent to stands managed for white spruce) Conversion goal to increase mixed spruce/fir/upland cedar by 4,100 acres Long-term goal to double acres of mixed spruce/fir/upland cedar.

69 Lowland Black Spruce Rotation ages Normal rotation age: 120/100/80 (23,518 acres) Average extended rotation age: 180/150/100 (5,781 acres) All HRLV stands will be field visited Stands known to have dwarf mistletoe will be treated first Re-inventory pool of stands >80 years and < 7.5 cords/acre and little black spruce regen Perhaps better suited for tamarack or cedar if present or regenerated without harvest.

70 LL Black Spruce (continued) Summary of proposed stand treatment Normal rotation forest: 300 acres per year ERF: 22 acres/year HRLV: 130 acres/year

71 Red Pine Rotation ages Normal rotation age: 120 (10,855 acres) Average extended rotation age: 200 (2,178 acres) Maximum rotation age: 240 Some managed with uneven-aged white pine/spruce/fir component for diversity Thinning stands >120 ft 2 BA & continued every 7-10 years Thinning in ERF may be at longer intervals.

72 Red Pine (continued) Summary of proposed stand treatment Normal rotation forest: 28 acres per year ERF: 0 (thinning only) Thinning: 284 acres year Conversion goal: increase red/white pine cover type by 3,600 acres this period Long-term goal is to double the cover type acres Conversion primarily from aspen/birch

73 White Pine All uneven-aged management Thinning at BA > 120 ft 2 at 10-25 year intervals, reducing to 60-90 ft 2 Every 3 rd thinning as group selection with goal of establishing new age class Goal is to create stands with layered age classes (3 or more) Thinning target of 175 acres/year Representatives of oldest cohorts retained at all times with no final harvest

74 White Spruce NRA Natural stands: 90 years Plantation: 50 years MRA: 120 years on better sites >65 SI All stands >83 years field visited Retain natural stands 61-80 In natural stands, use uneven-aged management where feasible to increase species and age-class diversity within stands Plantations even-aged management

75 White Spruce (continued) Stands 20-45 years old and stands >45 years with balsam fir as 2 nd species are thinning candidates Thin at 10-20 year intervals with goal to maintain >40% live crown ratio Discriminate against balsam fir in all thinning prescriptions Thin 250 acres per year

76 White Cedar Limited harvested due to regeneration concerns Area Forestry and Wildlife staff work together to identify opportunities for cedar management Upland cedar and higher SI stands of lowland cedar will be considered first for treatment Entire type managed as ERF

77 A Quick Summary More upland conifers Less aspen/birch Consider various “conversion” approaches Natural succession “Encourage” conversion Traditional harvest/site prep/plant,seed Increase within stand diversity Increase patch size/retain, connect large patches

78 Summary (continued) Look for opportunities for multi-aged management White pine Mixed spruce, fir, pine Retain components of older growth stages Protect old growth and EILC Use NH database Use the NPC field guides and interpretations

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